War Damn Burgers!

contributed by Natan Shar

5 lbs ground beef
12 oz Mr. P’s Original Marinade*
2 cups bread crumbs

In a large mixing bowl, combine beef & marinade. Work the mixture like a meatloaf. Once the marinade is completely mixed through, pour in the breadcrumbs & mix evenly (I pour in about a half cup at a time). The breadcrumbs will provide the consistency you need to patty the meat and keep it together on the grill. Pat out into 20 burgers, and tailgate away!

*I would NOT recommend a salty marinade like Moore’s or Dale’s for this. If you don’t have Mr. P’s where you are (sad), find a marinade that is great for beef, but not full of sodium.
Makes 20 HEALTHY burgers

Posted in Recipes | Tagged , | Comments Off

Toomer’s Lemonade

as published in Alfa Farmer’s Magazine, Fall 2000

5 lbs. sugar
1 pint lemon juice

Create Simple Syrup the day before you want to make the lemonade by pouring 5 lbs. sugar into a gallon jug. Then fill the jug with hot water (preferably heated on the stove). Stir and/or shake until sugar dissolves and solution is clear. Refrigerate overnight. To make one gallon of lemonade, combine 1 pint lemon juice and 2 pints Simple Syrup in a gallon container. Finish filling container with water and ice. Stir well. –An Auburn Tradition.
Makes 1 Gallon Lemonade, 1 Gallon Simple Syrup (enough for 4 gallons of lemonade)

Posted in Recipes | Tagged , | 1 Comment

TexMex Dip

contributed by Deby Lorino

1 can refried beans
1 small container avocado dip
16 oz. sour cream
1 package taco seasoning mix
1 package shredded lettuce
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 can sliced black olives
1 jar sliced jalapenos
1 large bag tortilla chips

1st layer: Spread 1 can refried beans on platter.
2nd layer: Spread small container avocado dip on refried beans.
3rd layer: Mix 16 oz. sour cream with 1 package taco seasoning mix and spread over avocado dip.
4th layer: Spread about 1/2 cup shredded lettuce (or to your liking) over the sour cream.
5th layer: Distribute 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese evenly over the lettuce.
6th layer: Top with black olives and jalapenos to your liking. Serve with tortilla chips.
Makes 16″ round platter

Posted in Recipes | Tagged | Comments Off

Texas Caviar

contributed by Elisabeth Russell

1 can black-eyed peas (or black beans), drained
1 can shoe peg corn, drained
1 can Rotel
1 can Diced Tomatoes, drained
3/4 cup Italian Dressing

Combine all ingredients and serve.

***Spice it up with some green onions and cilantro***
Makes enough to serve 10-15 people

Posted in Recipes | Tagged , | Comments Off

Sausage Dip

contributed by Jamie Wilson

1 roll Jimmy Deans Sausage (mild or hot)
1 can Rotel(mild or hot)
2 blocks 8oz cream cheese
1/2 can white shoe peg corn
Shredded cheddar cheese

Brown sausage and drain. While sausage is cooking mix cream cheese,Rotel and corn separately. When cream cheese is melted and sausage is drained, mix all together, cover with cheese and bake at 350 degrees until cheddar cheese is nice and melted. You can also replace the cheddar cheese with Monterrey Jack . . . Best served with Frito Scoops . . . Enjoy!

Makes 1 casserole dish

Posted in Recipes | Tagged , | Comments Off

Buffalo Chicken Wing Dip

contributed by Jamie Wilson

6 chicken breasts
16 oz. ranch dressing
16 oz. cream cheese
12 oz. Moore’s Buffalo Sauce
1 bag shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
1 large bag tortilla chips

Cook chicken,shred,and mix buffalo sauce with chicken in a 13×9 casserole dish. At the same time, combine ranch dressing and cream cheese in a pan and simmer on medium until cream cheese is melted. Pour mixture over chicken. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes, then take out, cover with shredded cheese and cook another 20 minutes…Eat with Tostada scoops(recommended)
Makes 13×9 casserole dish of dip

Posted in Recipes | Tagged , | Comments Off

Baked Potato Salad

contributed by Elisabeth Russell

8 potatoes-peeled, diced, & cooked
1 lb Velveeta – cubed
1 cup Miracle Whip
1/3 cup bacon bits
1/2 cup onion, diced
4 tsp. chicken bullion
3 hard boiled eggs, chopped

Toss everything together and place in baking dish. Refrigerate overnight. Bake at 325 for 1 hour 10 minutes

Makes 13×9 baking dish

Posted in Recipes | Tagged , | Comments Off

Mock Tailgate – 2010 Tailgate Trailer Debut

We are going to hold this year’s mock tailgate next Saturday, August 28th at the Lee House.  We’ll kick things off around 5 pm and cook shortly thereafter.  Not sure about the menu yet, but we will have the tailgate set up in its entirety since we’ve changed things up pretty dramatically since last year.  I’m looking forward to seeing everybody and getting cranked up for 2010.  War Eagle!

Posted in War Damn Tailgate! | 12 Comments

How do You Keep Your Tailgate Spot?

Down here in the SEC, tailgating is serious, and at Auburn, tailgating is just as much a part of the weekend experience as the game. Across campus, you’ll see people tailgating instead of going to the game – the tailgating experience is just that valuable. It’s a great atmosphere to be a part of, and it’s something we look forward to every week – good food, good friends & family, and beautiful surroundings. The problem is that the same characteristics that bring tens of thousands of tailgaters to campus every week create a scarcity of spaces to tailgate.

Once you find that perfect tailgating spot, you want to keep it. You want your guests to know where to find you every week. We have lots of drop-in visitors at our tailgate largely because anyone who has previously tailgated with us knows where we are, and that they have an open invitation to come and hang out. The challenge is keeping that tailgate spot from week to week –  especially when it is a premium location.

I don’t know how other schools handle it, but Auburn University permits tailgaters to begin tailgating at 4pm the day before the game. While most tailgates are not firing up the grill at 4pm the day before, the serious tailgaters are roping off their spots to ensure they have their prized location the next day. We’re lucky at Auburn to have a generally respectful alumni and student population, and we rarely have issues where someone has removed a tailgating rope-off. So the strategy is simply to be on campus at your spot at 4pm the day before the game with ribbon, stakes, and a hammer in hand. Then you’re in good shape!

So how do you handle this if you live 2 hours away from campus and can’t take every Friday off of work to rope off a tailgate spot? Tailgate neighbors and AU students are two good options.  We have used a combination of other tailgaters and students to ensure that our tailgate spot is roped off every week at 4pm. One of the benefits of getting to know your tailgate neighbors is that you can work together to ensure you stay tailgate neighbors. One of our tailgate neighbors, Steve, lives in Auburn and ropes off his own tailgate every week. He is always on the lookout for us, and calls us if anything looks strange, or our tailgate spot looks like it’s getting taken over. He has even roped off part of our traditional spot until we could get it taken care of – this is just one of several reasons to get to know your tailgating neighbors.

The last two years, we have had a family friend who is a student down on the Plains, and he has proven to be extremely dependable in marking off our tailgate spot for us as soon as it’s legal every week. On a typical Friday afternoon before a game, I get a text message from Cove (our student friend) at 4pm confirming that our tailgating spot has been reserved with our stakes and ribbon. Then, sometime on Saturday, Cove comes by the tailgate, has a free meal and free place to hang out, and gets some spending money from us. If Cove wasn’t doing this for us, we’d be spending that same money on gas to drive to campus and back (2 hours each way). It’s definitely a deal for us, and it gets him a little cash to spend on a gameday.

This strategy costs a little, but we have determined that it is well worth it. Having our spot is pretty important to us – we know where to park, where to setup the satellite dish, and our friends know where we are. What do you think? Is your tailgating spot at the top or bottom of your priority list? If it is at the top, how do you handle it?

Posted in Tailgating Tips & Tricks | Tagged , , , | Comments Off

How to Set Up a Portable Satellite Dish

One of the biggest & scariest learning curves for those trying to upgrade their tailgates is the daunting task of setting up a satellite dish on campus to watch college football all day while you’re tailgating. We were in this position 4 years ago when we decided to give it a shot. Hopefully, our years of experience will help you get over this hump a little less painfully. Here is a step-by-step guide for setting up a satellite dish for portable TV.

1. Get a Subscription
If you don’t already have a subscription to DirecTV or Dish Network, investigate your options. Talk to friends, neighbors, and family, and find out what their experience has been. For portable setup, it is our opinion that DirecTV is the hands-down choice for several reasons (more to come on this subject in a separate post). However, we did use Dish Network for two years and were more-or-less successful.

2. Get Your Portable Equipment
Next, you’re going to need a portable satellite dish and receiver. You basically have a couple of options regarding your receiver: have a dedicated receiver for tailgating (meaning you’re paying every month for it), or use a receiver from your house (this requires you to disconnect/reconnect after every tailgate). Due to the occasi0nal unfortunate occurrence of leaving home with everything but the satellite receiver or some portion of it (power cord), this year we are finally breaking down and getting an additional dedicated receiver to keep with the tailgate equipment.  Except for looking impressive, an HD satellite dish, coax cables, and flat screen TV aren’t worth much without the satellite receiver!  Just a tip from our past experience!

In order to guarantee compatibility, you need to get the same type of dish that you use on your house. You can usually get a new satellite dish on eBay or a local after-market satellite store. Ask around, and call some places. We have gotten three different dishes over the years (first, a Dish Network one, then a DirecTV one, and then a DirecTV HD dish), and we have never paid more than $80 for one.

3. Figure Out How You’re Going to Mount the Dish
There are two main methods for “mounting” your dish on campus. The most popular is the tripod method. You’ll see a wide variety of tripods used on campuses, from 18″ tall ones to 4 feet tall ones. We have had the best success with the WINEGARD TR-2000 Tripod Antenna Mount. It is small, ultra-portable, and very stable.

The other method used for portable satellite dishes is what we call the “ground”  mount. Basically, mount a satellite dish arm to a small but heavy object – heavy plywood, a cinder block, etc., and set it on the ground. This is a highly stable way of doing this, but it is much tougher to adjust the dish when you are trying to lock onto a satellite.  Also, you are much more susceptible to an occasional obstruction of the dish’s “line of sight” to the southern sky.

4. Quality Connections are Important!
Don’t skimp on your coaxial cable or splitters–they need to be quality components. The lower end coax and splitters are built for basic cable – not HD Satellite signals. You will notice a significant difference when you are trying to get a signal. There is nothing more stressful than knowing that GameDay is on and not being able to figure out why your signal is too weak to get ESPN. Please, take our advice and get a decent quality coaxial cable and if you need a splitter, get one that is built for HD satellite programming.  Remember, your signal is only as strong as your weakest cable—a high quality signal running through your HDMI cable from your receiver to your HDTV can be greatly compromised if it has to travel across a cheap coax from your dish to your satellite receiver.

5. Figure Out Where to Put Your TV
This may seem premature, but go ahead and map out your tailgate before you start pointing your dish (step 6). We learned this the hard way. You’ll need a clear view of the southern sky to get a good signal, so setup your tailgate with this in mind.  Take into consideration glare on the TV screen and tailgater traffic near your dish.

6. Point Your Dish
There are two settings that you will need to use to adjust on your satellite dish before you start pointing it – azimuth & elevation. You can get these settings in the setup guide on your satellite provider’s menu screen. Usually, the program will ask for a zip code, and give you the values based on that location. If you are tailgating in the same area every week, you will not have to change this at all.  The “elevation” is an angular degree that you can adjust with a wrench on the back of your dish—if you’re using your dish on the same campus every week, you should only have to set this once.  The “azimuth” is the physical direction in the sky (south-southeast for example) in which you point the dish.  This is the step where you will point and listen for the audible alert on your satellite provider’s “Satellite Signal” screen (see below).

Once you have your dish configured with these values, you can start searching for a satellite by connecting the dish to the receiver, and following the setup screens online. We also recommend that you completely reboot/reset your receiver before starting this. Pointing a dish is possible as a one-man job, but it is much easier with two people. Trial and error will eventually bring about a decent signal. Keep in mind that your signal strength does not have to be 100%. We have gotten by with a signal in the 70′s plenty of times. While one person slowly points the dish, have another person (preferably) call out the signal strength. Once you get a decent signal, lock down the dish’s direction and fine-tune your signal if needed.

After a few times of doing this, it will be easier and easier. We have been in the same tailgating spot for three years now, and we know how to line up the dish using landmarks on campus before we even turn on the receiver. Your first few times will be painful, and then it will get easier every time.

If you are having an unusual amount of difficulty getting a signal, reboot/reset your receiver. If you are using Dish Network, you may actually have to call them on the phone to get your receiver to work properly (one of the reasons we changed to DirecTV).

7. Secure Your Cables
To prevent a sudden loss of signal in the middle of that 4th and Goal situation, stake down your coax cable between the dish and your tailgate. Kids and adults can easily snag a cable with a foot and move your dish and/or tripod and/or receiver. So be safe. It only takes a couple of minutes to secure your setup and ensure that you won’t be losing any equipment or missing the goal line stand later on!

8. Weather Considerations
Keep an eye on the weather—the occasional afternoon thundershower can sneak up on you if you’re not careful.  Have a contingency plan for how to protect yourself and your electronic equipment in the event of rain and communicate that plan to fellow tailgaters, ESPECIALLY if you’re planning to leave the tailgate under someone else’s care.

Posted in Tailgating Equipment, Tailgating Tips & Tricks | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

“Go to Auburn, Be Forever Changed”

Toomer's Corner (on3fotos.com)
This article was written in 2002 by Syracuse Post-Standard columnist Bud Poliquin after his visit to Auburn for the Auburn-Syracuse game.  Enjoy!


I have descended into college football’s Grand Canyon. I have stood in its Alps. I have gazed at its ocean sunset. I have done all of these things and I’ve been changed forever.

I knew, of course, that we were different up here. I understood that autumn Saturdays in our burg have never been given over to any kind of serious sporting fervor. I’ve accepted for a good, long while that a fair amount of our citizens regularly choose to pick apples or seal driveways rather than head to the Carrier Dome to watch the Syracuse University Orangemen at play.

But, Lord have mercy on our college football souls, I’ve come to realize we’re not merely quirky in these parts. And we’re not just overly particular. No, having attended a game in Auburn, Ala. – which is like going to Mass in Rome – I’m convinced that, by comparison, we’re as dead as the flying wedge.

“Let me tell you something,” said Paul Pasqualoni, the SU coach who can recognize bedlam when he is forced to shout above it. “Being in that stadium with all those people – the noise level, the atmosphere – was exciting. It was a lot of fun. To me, it was just spectacular being there.”

He was speaking of Jordan-Hare Stadium, where four days earlier his SU club had lost to the Auburn Tigers 37-34 in an environment that was equal parts Woodstock, Mardi Gras, New Year’s Eve and Madonna’s last wedding. And the Crimson Tide boys, those rascals from the other side of the state, weren’t even in town, to say nothing of the Bulldogs, Gators or Razorbacks.

Nah, it was just the Orangemen, a non-league bunch from somewhere up north … with a losing record yet. But it didn’t matter. This, because the cherished Tigers were on the other side, and that was enough for those Alabama locals to respond the way the French did when Patton’s army showed up in Paris.

“I missed my wife’s birthday so I could cheer on my beloved alma mater against Syracuse,” Brent Miller wrote in an e-mail addressed to me following the three-overtime affair. “But you know what? I would have been there if our opponent had been the state of New York’s worst high school team.”

“Country, God and college football are usually our top three passions,” e-mailed another Auburn guy, Steve Fleming. “But not always in that order.”

“I grew up in Denver in a family with season tickets to the Broncos games,” e-mailed yet another believer, Rick Pavek. “I call Auburn home now and, take my word for this, Broncomania is nothing like Tigermania.”

The point is, with the Orangemen returning to the gray Dome that is so often lifeless to play Big East Conference foe Pittsburgh on Saturday, it’s clear that somebody’s not getting it. Either the Auburn faithful – and people like them in Knoxville and South Bend and Lincoln and Gainesville and Columbus and Austin and elsewhere – are far too crazed or we’re way too cool.

Listen, down there in eastern Alabama they pass out full-color, high-gloss, 22-by-17-inch, two-sided, fold-out pamphlets titled, “The 2002 Guide To Game Day At Auburn University.” And on Page 2 of each can be found the announcement that nobody is allowed to begin tailgating until 4 p.m.–the day before the game.

“You can’t be anything but envious,” said Jake Crouthamel, the Syracuse athletic director who was a wide-eyed witness to all of the SU-Auburn doings. “You can’t be anything but envious when you have that kind of support. I mean, there were 84,000 people in the seats. And the RVs and house trailers were lined up five miles outside of town. When you talk about the epitome of what the college football experience is all about … that’s it. Auburn is the epitome. You couldn’t possibly be unaware of the spectacle, even if you were trying to be unaware.”

The orange-clad zealots, who are in their seats fully 30 minutes prior to kickoff, thunder through choreographed cheers. The band, which is saluted upon its arrival by the big house with a standing ovation, blares. The PA system, which continuously blasts the sounds of a growling tiger, pipes in songs by the Dixie Chicks and interviews with the Auburn coaches.

Before the game, there is the great Tiger Walk during which the Auburn players march along Donahue Street through thousands of people, some of whom weep, and into the stadium. After the game, there is the mass papering of famous Toomer’s Corner downtown. And between all of that, a golden eagle circles the place before landing on the field to a deafening roar.

And us? Um, let’s see. We can’t fill 49,000 seats. We debate, ad nauseam, standing-vs.-sitting in the Dome. We give our tickets to takers at the door who had to be schooled in the art of courtliness. We regularly vacate the joint long before the final gun. We allow, in a good-idea-gone-bad, a bunch of vulgar louts planted in a thing called “The O-Zone” to chant expressions you’d never say in front of Mom at the dinner table.

In other words to compare our college football experience to that of Auburn (and a lot of other places) is to compare a skillet of beans to a plate of Chilean sea bass. And while that might sound harsh, it doesn’t make the words any less true.

Believe me on this. Please. I have descended into college football’s Grand Canyon. I have stood in its Alps. I have gazed at its ocean sunset. I have attended a game at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn, Ala. And I’ve been changed forever.

Posted in I ♥ AU | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off

“Auburn is the Other Woman”

Samford Hall - AUtailgate.com Auburn Tailgating (on3fotos.com)With football season so close, I’m getting ready for the best football atmosphere of all time down on the Plains. My buddy Jason came across this article from ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt after his visit to the Plains for the Auburn-Georgia game in November 2004. It’s one of those articles that Jason finds every year and sends out, and we all get even a bit more excited (if that’s possible) about the upcoming season.


Imagine you have been married to the same woman for more than 30 years, you love her more than anything – nothing could ever change that. You have shared many of your best memories with her and would never leave her under any circumstances. Then you spend a day with a woman who in some ways is more beautiful than your wife…you may never see her again…but you won’t forget her for a while either.

Maryland is my wife…Auburn is “the other woman”.

If you all love college sports – and I assume you do – you really need to see a game there. I have been lucky to see a lot of places, I have not seen a lot of places like that. It’s an amazing scene in every respect.

Granted, I was there for # 3 vs. # 5…Auburn was 9-0 so it was bound to be good.

Some highlights:

I arrived at night with the stadium lit up like a Christmas tree. It sits dead in the middle of campus. A shrine…literally their church – only services are held on Saturday. Made me say….hmmmm…this is promising.

Gameday scene – tailgating in every available space…and not like some field full of RV’s – though they had that too. But literally people grilling and drinking in every available spot for as far as the eye could see. I lost count of the number of bands and stages and this was at 9 AM.

The Fans – I knew I was in a ” red state ” from all the Suburbans with W stickers but the truth of it is, this part of Alabama is an orange state. Every man woman and child is in the same shade of orange. Not unusual I know…but THIS was…they are nice, friendly, and polite – to GEORGIA FANS. Nobody called anyone in Black and Red **** or *sshole…nobody told them they sucked…. These people are your friends, you don’t know it yet because you haven’t met them – but when you do – you have met a friend. you want a beer ? some bar- B – Q? grab some. Let’s talk for a while….war eagle…let’s have a good game. I saw this at tailgate after tailgate. Stragglers who wander by are offered anything that’s available – didn’t matter what color they were wearing. This is the oldest rivalry in the South – they call it Brother vs. Brother and they mean it. Now there are certainly cliche’s about down home country sensibilities – but these folks embodied the best part of the notion of southern hospitality. Though many did admit it’s a tad LESS civil for the
Iron Bowl.

Tiger Walk :

Impossible to describe. Im – possible. A human welcome mat for the team. The team walks through several blocks to Jordan-Hare through a sea of people. I asked somebody how many folks were there and was told they could never come up with an accurate head count but that they were certain it was “well in excess of 25,000 people.” That looked a little light to me…I would have bought 40 grand. 2 hours before kick the streets in all directions were completely – and I mean COMPLETELY jammed. It was like a religious experience. If you can be in the middle of this – and I was lucky enough to get to walk through it – and not be overwhelmed, you are dead my friend. (I just went Larry King on your asses – sorry) I was honestly in awe.

Gametime :

The eagle circles as 87,521 people ( less the UGA fans ) cheer Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaar EAGLE HEY!!! The eagle pounces on some meat product and the hair on the back of your neck stands up…then if you are still unimpressed you get an F-16 flyover and were off and running. Auburn dominates, the band plays, the fans hoot and holler louder than anywhere I have ever been (and go Spinal tap and take it to volume 11 when UGa tries to audible) … 24 – 6 and it’s time for more food and drink…but before that…

Toomer’s corner :

Everyone converges on the intersection of college st and whatever the other road is and they toilet paper every tree in sight. By the time it’s over, it looks like a blizzard has rolled through Alabama. There are no riots, no police, no cars set on fire. There are families from grandparents to infants chucking rolls of toilet paper all over the place. Again, I just shake my head at a loss…and maybe a little jealous.

It’s a special place, the best scene I have ever seen for college football. I have ZERO doubt “our” TEAM could someday be as good. As fans though, perhaps we should aspire to be as classy as those I was hosted by. The type of hostile, vile garbage we are subjected to on the road and are certainly guilty of at home is just embarrassing when you see how they do it
elsewhere. Not preaching here – just some thoughts of one VERY proud Terrapin after seeing the light Auburn style.

Posted in I ♥ AU | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off